The trouble with visiting a country like Vietnam is just that youre a foreigner, and as such will never have the inside scoop as to what its like to live there.
So with that in mind, Ill give an outsiders view from an all-too-brief 12-day visit. The trip was by boat, touring the riverways of northern Vietnam May 16-26. Also on board were husband Brian Wolfe and 18 other passengers, primarily from Australia and New Zealand. The trip was organized by Pandaw, a commercial enterprise that provided two guides and scheduled stops each day.
The highlight was two days in Ha Long Bay where we sailed among 2,000 dramatic limestone islets that dot the Gulf of Tonkin leading to the South China Sea. The archipelago is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provided an idyllic setting for swimming and kayaking.